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Trump, MI Republicans, and a surprise move by Bill Schuette to kill the Michigan recount effort

Dec 2, 2016

Today, the Board of State Canvassers deadlocked on President-elect Donald Trump’s request to stop a recount of votes in this state.

Two Republicans on the board voted today to prevent the recount, while two Democrats said it should proceed.

The state chair of the Republican Party, Ronna Romney McDaniel said the party expected this result.

A state spokesman announced the recount will begin Tuesday or Wednesday, barring a court order.

"It really begs the question: What is a recount really about? Is it only about a losing candidate trying to reverse the result and come out the winner? Or can it be used for something else?"

Rick Pluta, Michigan Radio’s Capitol Bureau Chief, joined Stateside to talk about that possibility. He said the Board of State Canvassers had convened to hear the Republican Party and the Trump campaign’s objections to the recount when something unexpected happened.

“Bill Schuette’s Chief Legal Counsel showed up and started serving members of the board and the state election’s director with a lawsuit that was actually seeking to do, essentially, the exact same thing the Trump campaign is trying to do, except do it through the courts,” Pluta said.

He said the argument used by both the Trump campaign and the attorney general is that this recount, requested by Green Party nominee Jill Stein, is frivolous.

“She has no hope – zero hope – of actually emerging as the victor once a recount is over, and so therefore,” Pluta said, “[they say] she doesn’t qualify as a legitimately aggrieved candidate who can request a recount, that she’s just too far behind.”

But, language of state law says any losing candidate can request a recount.

“That’s what the Stein campaign says is operative,” Pluta said.

For the rest of this discussion, listen above.

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